Press Release
June 21, 2019

Grace Poe's response to media queries on water woes

It is time to look at Metro Manila's water woes thoroughly and offer a comprehensive and long-lasting solution.

In the short term, because the crisis is looming once again, the two water concessionaires should ensure 24/7 availability of water tanks that will deliver water if not house-to-house, in strategic points that may be accessed by the residents, establishments and offices.

In March this year, Manila Water announced its Cardona Water Treatment Plant has begun distributing 24 million liters of water per day to several barangays in Rizal. What impact does this have in augmenting the supply in the East Zone?

It is ironic that we have just passed a law requiring clean restrooms in terminals, yet we are faced with this problem of water supply.

The people's well-being is highly dependent on the quality and availability of water, and how well this vital resource is managed.

Diarrhea and a range of diseases are closely linked to insufficient water supply, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene practices.

According to the World Health Organization, in 2015, the deaths of 526,000 children under five were attributable to diarrhea.

In the long term, we should explore ground water supplies that can be tapped without imperilling environmental conditions and balance. This may require a hefty investment, but one that will ensure availability of the resource in the future.

We also need to scrutinize the government contracts with the water concessionaires. The fact that we have the private sectors doing this for us does not clear the MWSS from its responsibility as regulators.

El Niño, climate change and other phenomena related to water supply have been there, and we should have planned a long time ago.

The concessionaires as well as the MWSS should have planned for the macro. The failure of the concessionaires to deliver water is as much the failure of the MWSS.

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